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December 7, 2018

Faisal urges SC to save country from suspension by FIFA


December 7, 2018

KARACHI: Deciding to stay away of the December 12 elections, Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) chief Faisal Saleh Hayat on Thursday (PFF) appealed to the Supreme Court of Pakistan to save the country from suspension by FIFA.

At a press conference at the PFF headquarters in Lahore on Thursday, Faisal said he could not contest the forthcoming PFF elections as he was bound to follow FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) regulations.

“I appeal to honourable Supreme Court to save Pakistan from FIFA suspension. It will destroy all our efforts and ruin all the work we have done so far for football development,” Faisal said.It is pertinent to mention here that FIFA has already indicated that if the elections ordered by the apex court were held, Pakistan might face suspension.

This would be the second time in almost a year when Pakistan would be suspended. “The federal government has never supported PFF. FIFA and AFC have been assisting Pakistan’s football for years. If these bodies stopped backing Pakistan, football would stop because no other entity can bear such huge expenses,” the PFF chief pointed out.

He said that 211 nations were associated with FIFA, all of whom abide by the laws of the world body.“Following FIFA rules is mandatory. We have seen that nations like France, Nigeria and Kuwait also faced FIFA’s sanctions when they failed to follow the world body’s statutes,” said Faisal, who is also a member of the AFC Executive Committee.

FIFA directs its member associations with clarity to follow its rules or part ways, Faisal was quick to add. “The elections of every statutory body are held according to its statutes. We were expecting that the PFF elections would be held under the PFF Constitution but unfortunately the statutes of the federation have not been followed. The Returning Officer Shoaib Shaheen framed his own laws while setting aside the PFF Constitution. It was brought in the notice of the apex court,” Faisal said.

He added that in the nine months following PFF restoration by courts, it held several domestic events and ensured Pakistan’s participation in international events. It also hired Brazilian coach and trainer through the support of Bahrain, the PFF chief said.

“We have also hired the services of a Brazilian female coach,” he said. “With such efforts and facilities our team succeeded in excelling at international level in 2018, showing desired performances in Asian Games, SAFF Championship and Under-15 SAFF Championship,” the president said.

About the monetary situation of the PFF, Faisal said: “We have a fixed deposit of Rs180 million and FIFA fund worth 700,000 dollars in the PFF accounts. This amount only belongs to national footballers and football fraternity. FIFA and AFC have given us this money.”

He said the illegal occupation of the PFF headquarters in Lahore by the rival group inflicted an unprecedented damage on the country’s football as Pakistan had to stay away from international football for over three years.

“During the three years, over Rs35 million was spent by the body under the court-appointed administrator. The expenses created issues for us in the audit conducted by FIFA,” Faisal said.He claimed that during the occupation of PFF headquarters two audits had been conducted by the administrator and no discrepancies were ever reported in the audit reports.

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